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Future City trainee goes public with concerns about doing training contract remotely

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‘I struggle to see how this could truly be replicated virtually’

A future City trainee solicitor is “alarmed” that some people would prefer never to go back to the office now that lockdown restrictions have eased.

In a letter to The Telegraph published over the weekend, the future trainee, who is due to commence her training contract with a leading global law firm, writes:

“I believe a fundamental part of my training contract will be spent observing, listening and learning from senior lawyers in-person through my working day. I struggle to see how this could truly be replicated virtually.”

The future rookie’s concerns come amid continued coronavirus disruption. In March, lawyers, like with the rest of the nation, moved to more agile ways of working as the nation plunged into lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has since urged the country to “go back to work if they can” but it seems law firms are likely to continue to let their lawyers, and their trainees, work from home even after the pandemic has passed. Some have even decided to ditch the office altogether.

Last week, for example, the largest law firm in the world announced that it was shuttering two of its UK regional offices, with all of its staff, including five trainees, set to work from home permanently. This follows research published in May citing 61% of all legal workers wanting to continue with remote-work once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The Cambridge grad, who has this year completed the Legal Practice Course, goes on to write that working from home indefinitely and never returning to the office may suit some people who have been in their job for years and are confident in what to do, but, she adds, “where does that leave anyone who is just starting out?”

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

Indeed, it can be a daunting prospect for incoming trainees: most law firms encourage ‘facetime’ among their junior ranks since they’re learning the ropes, after all. They might face a longer lead time from September given that they’re adjusting to a new firm under new conditions and will have to get to grips with new systems that they would normally pick up in-person during the induction.

But this hasn’t fazed some of our readers who, admittedly, are further along their TCs.

Earlier this year, one first-year City trainee told us that they were adapting well to remote-working. They described senior members as “supportive” and said they were engaged with “lots of daily calls/video conferencing with our departments to keep everyone connected”.

By contrast, one magic circle trainee revealed that juniors were taking the brunt of heavy workloads with little to no support from seniors or development teams making it difficult for them to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

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84 Comments

Anon

She’s right. WFH great for partners but not for trainees, who need to be trained! Partners have a responsibility to get off their a****s and get back into the office.

(109)(13)

Unsupervised

At most city firms partners either do not supervise trainees or are a minority of supervisors. It’s the senior associates you need back in.

Anon

The reality is she has no idea what’s been put in place for her. My trainee is patched into all my important calls and virtual meetings (just as they would attend with me in the office) and we do a review immediately afterwards (also just as we would from the office). Obviously it depends what your supervisor is planning to do but I would have thought a HR email might go down better than publicly airing concerns the firm you haven’t even joined yet might be shit.

Annnnnooon

I vote for continued WFH!

Showround @ Bakers

“ A future City trainee solicitor is “alarmed” that some people would prefer never to go back to the office”

Imagine caring how other people feel. It’s well known firms are gearing up for a return to the office. Those that did scrap their bases did so because they had to, not because “WFH has worked so well for us”. I do have the greatest sympathy for those you started their TC and will start their TC during this weird phase but things will obviously return to normal.

David

So lonely. Sat at my little desk. No colleagues to turn around and chat to. WhatsApp Web can be quite dim. Instagram expectations. Take a prolonged dump and wash my hands for well over 20 seconds. The hot water feels nice on my hands. Boil a kettle just for the thrill of it. Crack open a can of Fanta and repeat the whole process.

Supervisor

I think requiring designated trainee supervisors to come in and work with their trainee in person 4 days a week is fair. Ultimately, whilst lots of us do enjoy it for its own sake, part of the reason to be a supervisor is the CV boosting element.

However, I can’t see other senior associates or partners being keen to come into the office all the time just because it helps trainees learn by observation.

Tina

It’s true.

Once a firm has taken you on as an NQ it’s still a long climb to partner ranks so the associates will jump at the opportunity of being training principal/supervisor so it looks like they’re valuable to the firm

Food for thought

I have friends that train at US firms and they actually preferred WFH because they are overworked but it means they don’t have to leave the office in a taxi at night. And when they are in the office if a superior sees that they are free they will offload a bunch of work into them but at home they have that extra bit of control because no one can see how busy or not busy they are

Before the snowflakes come for me

Onto them*

TC offer holder

Opinions on Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner?

Joe

Law firms recruit 2 years in advance. Which means the longer you delay to accept a TC offer or receive a TC offer, the longer you wait to start your training contract.

I know it’s conflicting when you’ve been offered a TC with a firm you’re perhaps not that excited about but you haven’t got offers elsewhere. Even though given another application cycle you would probably be successful in getting a better firm TC offer, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the delay to starting your career?

I personally think it’s better to try and start your TC as soon as possible after uni. Once you’re qualified you can move to another firm or see if you actually end up liking the current firm you’re at. Or you might not be offered an NQ position and have to go elsewhere which has some silver lining if you don’t actually like the firm you trained with.

Raleigh

Given that the years of PQE is key in determining salary and experience and how you climb the ranks at firms, it’s better to start training ASAP and qualify as soon as you can

Oswald

Would you rather be a partner at 35 and have traveled the world and perhaps done one or two different interesting jobs for a year or two along the way, or be a partner at 32-33 having not done so?

For me, the easy answer is the former. Life is not a race and I don’t care if my salary level is technically 2-3 years behind what it could in theory had been if I raced my way through education and career levels at the fastest possible pace.

Stop trying to validate your personal choices

Better how? It makes no difference, depends on what you want. Trainees are all different ages – late 20s is fairly average for NQ. Some actually have enhanced CVs because they are not *just* lawyers and have done something else beforehand. Also not uncommon for people to have advanced degrees.

Alan

Slap me silly and call me Barney… you don’t half sound like a snowflake. Back in my day we had to earn our keep.

Anon

They just made 40 people redundant in London (only 14 fee earners I think) and shut down the Beijing office. Apparently redundancies are anticipated in other offices. I wouldn’t be surprised if they max out at around 65-75% NQ retention rates over the next 4 or 5 years as they “right-size”. Wouldn’t be surprised if a couple 50% retention rates spattered in that period.

A decent firm to start your qualified solicitor career at if you survive the trainee hunger games.

Anon

80%+ retention for September, but wouldn’t be surprised to see a bloodbath for the March qualifiers.

That’s not unique to BCLP, but they’ve struggled with retention for a while before the current cycle.

Penelope

There are BCLP trainees who have moved to Macfarlanes and other top firms after qualification. It’s very doable.

Worrying about these little things so early on in your career isn’t helpful. A law career in the long run is very unpredictable and people make lateral moves all the time.

Anon

Would you say that’s the norm, given BCLP is known for its real estate work whereas Macs is a top tier corporate firm?

Anonymous

I’d say most people go to BCLP to qualify and work at BCLP. Movements for NQ roles are not uncommon at any firm but they’re definitely not the norm. If they are the norm it’s a telltale sign that a specific firm is undergoing a significant change (eg collapsing) or the same is happening to the whole economy. In either case, probably not good.

BCLP Future Trainee, Sep 2020

The implication being that BCLP is not a top firm. wtf?

William

Honestly, don’t get triggered by what people say on this app.

There is some serious snobbery in the legal profession where some people think that if you’re not working at a US firm, Magic Circle firms or top Silver Circle firms you’ve failed at life

Logan

TC salary is 40k first year and 45k second year. This is lower than what most of the city firms offer so you’re losing out by 10k but that’s just from a financial perspective

Jefe

Its £44k and £48k actually (current pay cut aside)

Tommy

That’s not true.

That Logan guy is correct and you can check for yourself in the chambers salary guideline and Legal Cheek mosts list in the salary section.

BCLP Trainee

Nah, it’s 44 and 48 – otherwise, the firm’s been paying me extra each month for no reason…

The figures tend to be inaccurate for us for some reason – NQ pay was listed as 75 here, when it had been bumped to 80 about a year back.

Emily

That’s interesting. I wonder what other firms salaries have been incorrectly reported.

What is the current NQ salary at BCLP?

Caprice

Macfarlanes salary is incorrect as well. It says 80k on the websites but it’s actually 85-90k

BCLP Trainee

Emily – there are plenty of firms with inaccurate figures. Some of them are inaccurate because the firms haven’t announced the raises externally. That’s pretty rare though and usually happens because of miscommunication somewhere. I’m pretty sure BCLP’s raises last year (think it was in June or July – can’t remember the exact month) were covered by Legal Week and The Lawyer, so it might just be LC not doing a thorough enough job and Chambers having collated their figures for their 2019 edition before the raise happened.

Some firms also tend to combine salaries with bonus amounts, in order to obfuscate how much pay actually is.

NQ salary for the September qualifiers is £78k – that’s a reduction of £2k because of COVID. Current NQs are being paid £80k.

Happy to answer any general questions people have here, as long as it doesn’t turn into a pissing contest about the ‘prestige’ of firms.

Aaron

@BCLP trainee.

Do you find that the working hours are better at your firm or is it similar to the MC/US firms?

I’ve heard the lines are getting blurred and the reason lawyers are moving to those firms is because the hours are the same across all these firms but the only difference is salary? How true is this?

BCLP Trainee

@Aaron – it depends more on the team you’re in than the firm. I have friends in a lot of different firms across the city and one of the things that you can identify pretty easily is that people in corporate or finance teams generally work longer hours than people in disputes or in ‘niche’ teams.

If I had to make a blanket statement about firms, I’d say that we definitely have better working hours than white shoe firms/Kirkland/Latham, and we tend to have slightly better working hours than MC firms. We also tend to have more stable hours – so whilst there’s still the usual peaks and troughs you hear about, your hours are a lot more consistent than they are at an upper tier US firm.

Apart from during completion, I’m usually available for drinks/dinner about 1-1.5 hours earlier on average than my friends at white shoe firms and I’ve only ever worked once on a weekend out of compulsion – that’s definitely not the case for them. People at MC firms usually wrap up at the same time as me, give or take half an hour.

During completion, everyone’s working long hours. However, the way in which the upper tier of US firms staff matters, means they’re still working slightly longer hours at that point too – so maybe wrapping up at 3am instead of 1:30-2am.

The lines are definitely getting more blurry though, particularly if you’re interested in a non-transactional team. If you’re a junior associate in tax or competition at a V-20 firm, odds are you’re earning anywhere between 1.5 and 2 times the salary of a corporate associate in a SC/MC/London HQ firm whilst leaving the office earlier than them.

Keep in mind that most people who jump ship for the money aren’t doing so thinking the hours are the same. I think they’re fully aware that, on average, they’ll be working longer hours than they were before. They’re jumping ship because the money outweighs the increase in hours even if there’s an increase.

Jay T

@ BCLP trainee

What team/department are you looking to qualify into? Are you looking to qualify internally or keeping an eye out for external NQ spots elsewhere?

Keiron

What is a V-20 law firm?

Winston

@BCLP trainee

What is a V-20 firm?

BCLP Trainee

@Jay T – I think trainees at every firm should look out for external NQ spots, because it’s good to have a fallback plan even if they don’t want to leave their current firm. Having offers from elsewhere presumably helps focus your attention and makes it easier to figure out your priorities going forward.

I’m personally pretty keen to stay on if possible – I’ve enjoyed the work and am actually interested in the area I want to qualify into, the quality of deals and the level of responsibility juniors get in that team is pretty high, think the team’s great, have more sway on general initiatives etc. than I would if starting afresh at a new firm, and generally think it’s a great place to work (though the recent layoffs have tempered that sentiment quite significantly).

Not going to answer the team/department since it’d make it easier to dox me – sorry.

BCLP Trainee

V20’s a reference to Vault’s law firm rankings – the top 20 firms in the rankings. It’s very US focused, and gives a decent enough indication of which firms are particularly profitable in the states.

Not a term you see used often here, but it’s an easy way to refer to elite US firms (notwithstanding that there are a lot of really good firms that fall outside the V20). Don’t like using ‘white shoe’ as much, since that technically excludes the likes of Latham and Kirkland.

Greg

The TC salary and NQ salary is less than at other city firms but it’s probably because your working hours won’t be as intense. You still have decent pay but get better work/life balance as a result

Anon

You can certainly become an adequate lawyer with remote supervision, but a lot of what I’ve learned in terms of general working style (as opposed to technical knowledge) has come from sharing an office with a senior associate/partner, (passively) listening to calls (I wasn’t invited to join) etc.

Franck

Learning by osmosis really does help during your training contract.

Anonymouse

@ Anon 11.06am – I think this is spot on. I’m a 3.5yr PQE and I’ve found since being an NQ (at a firm where we sit with people around our levels rather than seniors) that not sharing a room with a Senior hasn’t at all hindered technical development, and during the COVID lockdown whenever there have been busy patches the people I’m working with have tended to be on the phone/videocon with each-other pretty much constantly, so it hasn’t felt like a huge difference from working in the office and I’ve learnt just as much as I would have in the job under normal circumstances.

But a big learning experience as a trainee, especially if it’s your first “proper job”, is seeing how other people operate and the impact that has on the way you work, and I think if you’re working remotely for two years then you’ll effectively be self-taught in terms of your general working style with very little to benchmark yourself against.

That said, I really cannot see lawyers at any of the big UK/US firms working 100% remotely after lockdown. Any shift in attitudes towards WFH will be well overdue in these firms, in my opinion and based on my experience.

XYZ

Lucky her, especially compared to those of us who had their TC delayed by a year due to the virus and, apparently, the firms’ business needs. Now, I have done my LPC and LLM, fair share of paralegalling (never again) and it’s not that I can travel around. The company is also small and did not offer any compensation. I will pay a grand to anyone who can tell me how to meaningfully fill in the next year. ;/

K Smith

I am in the same boat.

I’ve been applying for retail jobs to try and save a bit of money before I make the money to London but to no avail. There are thousands of people applying for the same retail jobs which get snatched up in a matter of hours.

I have nothing to do for a year

xyz

Best of luck – I hope you will be able to find something soon. In the worst case, I am planning to do some odd work such as interpreting or some waitressing just to kill the time. It’s far from perfect but at least we have got the TC ‘sorted’. That’s what I keep telling myself. 😉

Deferred

In the same boat, and I worry about how I will look if I don’t do anything for a year 🙁 but not like we have to much choice

Anon

“I believe a fundamental part of my training contract will be spent observing, listening and learning from senior lawyers in-person through my working day. I struggle to see how this could truly be replicated virtually.”

I have raised this multiple times with HR. Firms moving to open plan will be disadvantageous for trainees. When I trained, so much of my learning was from listening to the partner or senior associate I shared on office with, even if I was not on the particular deal especially as all calls would be on speaker phone. You do not get that with open plan. You cannot hear individual calls, a partner will not be on speaker phone (unless they’re a douche) so you cannot hear the whole conversation, and a partner is not likely to bring you into a tiny call room to listen to a deal you are not even on.

2nd year LLB

Opinions on DLA Piper? London office

Erin

You seem to get a lot for what you’re paid in the sense that it’s not the highest paying firm in the city but it’s been said that the working hours are a lot nicer

Taylor

DLA has one of the highest revenue and PEP in the city but pays their trainees and associates significantly less. It seem like most of the money is going into the partners pockets and there’s not as much left for the people lower down the ranks

Sean

Good international and client secondment opportunities during your TC. And there are no compulsory seats so you have full flexibility in choosing, which is a plus.

Only downside is lower salary but I guess you do have better work/life balance because of it.

Jane

I think the reason DLA is probably scoffed at by other firms in the city is because of recruitment.

They offer TCs to a lot of paralegals and 2nd timers. I reckon if they tightened up their recruits they would be more up there

Forever Associate

It’s biglaw with a fairly wide mix of commercial practices. Some good practices, some meh ones. Lots of big-name clients. International brand recognition. There will be a mix of personalities and some teams will be nice to work for, others will be an absolute nightmare. As with any London law firm, ranging from 20 lawyers to 1000 lawyers, most days will be around 10 hours, with a good number of 12 hour days or more, especially near the end of the tax year.

You’ll never REALLY know what’s happening in the management of the firm until they announce redundancies or raises. If you stick it out you’ll have the opportunity to make partner in 10-12 years. Many people will lateral move well before then.

As for “ranking” or prestige of training (specifically training) there’s the MC and most of the SC, and then the vast majority of international City firms would be relatively interchangeable for CV brand recognition. Most of my colleagues, and our clients, would consider DLA interchangeable with Dentons, Eversheds, Pinsents, Norton Rose, CMS, BCLP, HogLove and Mayer Brown. This is not a bad thing: if you stick around at any of these you will have great lateral opportunities at 3 to 5 PQE and are guaranteed a six figure income at a very early stage in your career.

George

Which practices would you say are their best/good ones for a trainee about to choose their seats there?

Forever Associate

I’m not overly familiar with their “best” practice groups in London. Standard City TC is M&A, Real Estate (typically big commercial but may have sub teams like asset finance or construction advisory depending on the firm), commercial disputes, and maybe something more advisory like tax, IP or employment?

Check the firm on the Law Society’s find a solicitor page and see how many qualified Solicitors are sat in the difference practices offered at the office. Bigger teams likely have more work on offer.

Curious cat

What firm do you work at?

Forever Associate

Nice try, HR. WFH means long lunches.

All jokes aside I’m at a niche firm these days but I’ve done the biglaw thing at the start of my career. Might consider going back to it once I get the 10-15 PQE partnership level.

Training opportunities, and being a partner (who usually have additional BD and management responsibilities) is typically better in biglaw due to extra resources; large BD teams and PSL services, PAs and doc production centres etc. However, as an associate in an advisory area of law you tend to be a small cog for many years servicing the large deal or dispute teams. It can be harder to establish yourself in your clients’ market segment as a competent individual worth instructing directly.

James

Are you looking to become a partner as your next career move or are you happy as a ‘forever associate’?

Forever Associate

I guess you could say I am partner track already. I’ve had milestones set for me to hit before I submit my application for partnership, and it’s expected these are met within the next couple years. I’m pursuing it because I actually enjoy the BD aspect of professional services. But many lawyers don’t like the added responsibility – they still work just as hard but many prefer to spend their time advising clients and growing their legal knowledge. Previously there wasn’t many options in private practice for these lawyers but thankfully the profession is catching up with the rest of the world. At lot can happen in a couple years; I might consider this path too.

If you are in an advisory-heavy areas like tax, employment, construction, planning etc you can make a VERY good living and strong reputation without pursuing partnership. Becoming an Associate Director/ Legal Director (whatever firms are calling it), or a pseudo self-employed Consultant for a firm (“Of Counsel” as the Americans call it) is a legitimate career path these days and established experts demand eye-watering hourly rates.

Anonymous anonymous

Legal cheekers what’s the likelihood of moving from a silver circle after training, to a top US firm upon qualification?

Andrew

US firms take anyone and everyone from all kinds of firms. As long as you’re willing to sign over your life and soul to them they don’t care where you come from

Anonymous

That’s the weird thing about the second tier places, they have an odd sense of internal pecking orders. Just don’t end up down there in the first place.

Curious cat

Could you explain what you mean by this?

Top Dog

No, because you are a cat.

Faye

I didn’t realise external NQ recruits were looked down upon??

MC NQ

It’s not a massive thing, more just standard snobbery. The same as non oxbridge/non RG people are looked down on. It’s not a massive thing, no one ignores you or mocks you, but sometimes some of the snobbier people raise an eyebrow at it.

There’s some justification too – firms like Linklaters & SM place really massive emphasis on the quality of their training, and so I think sometimes there’s a little concern about how you’ll adapt to their work environment.

Again, not all firms were created equally. An external NQ from another MC firm is not really going to attract attention in the way that one from the SC or lower is.

The law is a snobby sector, that’s just how it is.

Anonymous

“Snobby”? Who uses that word? Considering Oxbridge graduates as generally being better than the rest is objectively rational.

Anon

Doable, plenty of trainees I know have made lateral moves to Kirkland and Latham from the likes of Macfarlanes/HSF/Travers etc

Larry

Yes. Doable trainees. Very doable.

Grant

Why is everyone so jet-set on moving to a US firm?? Is there any legit reason besides from the salary?

MC or nothin'

Crushing insecurity at not landing a top firm.

anon

Salary is the key driver – if you’re in an area like finance or upper mid-market/tier 1 deals, you will work incredibly hard no matter where you are. I worked on a project finance transaction that had NQs/junior associates from MC, American, specialist boutique firms and a UK national firm involved. Near closing and the CP/S deadlines everyone was working the same 12-14 hour days.

Yet the niche firm NQ lawyers are on ~70k salary (London rates – just a guess), the national firm NQs where on something insulting like 45k because they were based in Northern offices, the MC NQs were making their 85-90K, and the American law firm was paying ~120K. Again, all lawyers worked the same hours those days and all on this same matter.

anonymous

I think individual experiences will vary widely. My TC experience during lockdown has been positive.

I am no longer doing annoying admin tasks, like bundling or compiling transaction bibles. Yes, learning the ins and outs of doc review, bundling, etc is important but it will not necessarily prepare you for becoming an NQ and becoming a liability for the firm’s PII cover.

Instead, my daily tasks include providing full advice notes, leading on BD articles, client Teams calls and even drafting pleadings which would normally be farmed out to counsel. I did do this before but it is now the norm. I’ve also been fortunate with a very proactive supervisor. I honestly believe my quality of training has significantly improved.

Several of my trainee cohort have expressed similar experiences. Others have been locked in a virtual data room since March doing doc review for deals/disputes. At least they haven’t had to suffer rush hour on the Tube to do these tasks…

David

You sound like a good trainee. Reliable. Trustworthy. Competent. Beautiful. Hard-working. Switched on. Pays attention to detail. Obedient. Responsive. Nods. Kneels.

wfhtrainee

I’ve found the same, the quality of work has improved immensely. Way less shite admin work occupying 90% of my time.

WFH Boss

Eat a bag of chips. Relax in the garden for a bit. Water the plants. Again. Sodden. Go back inside and bash out 7 emails in half an hour. Take a massive dump. Play chess on the phone. Boil the kettle. Pour boiled water down sink. Repeat. Look at the plants. Water. Again. Relax.

Delivery Driver

Splash on a bit of Dior. Fire up the Sonos. Slip into something very silky. Glide across the floor like a solitary swan in a lake. Scoff my face with After 8 Mints whilst stroking my pussy cat.

Anonymous

Porn. Drink. Porn. Eat. Porn. Drink. Drink. Porn. Breakfast.

That was my pre-covid routine. God I miss it.

Lazareth

Trickier when the wife is working from home too innit.

Cara

As a trainee at a frequently-mentioned-on-this-site firm, it’s more or less obvious it’s best for me to return to the office career-wise. The lack of passive learning is obviously going to hurt in the long run, as well as losing the face-to-face interaction of having a supervisor or associate go through your work with you. It’s also very difficult to gauge how well/not well you’re received when you have to plead your case at NQ stage to someone who’s never even seen you in person. The TC is pivotal because it’s quite possibly the only time in this profession you’re allowed to keep messing up without getting booted out, and it’s much easier to learn from your mistakes when you’re physically in the workplace.

But, as a person, I’m dreading going to the office. Not only for health reasons (I don’t want to get covid from some dickhead associate who thinks wearing masks is a human rights violation), but also because it’s the only thing that’s made me actually like this job. For the first six months of my TC I was so busy I never even cooked a meal. My physical and mental health suffered significantly and I was developing a drinking problem. Wfh has allowed me to sleep, and take care of myself, and structure my day as I see fit, even if I work longer hours. With our firm having imposed a pay cut, I’m really not looking forward to spending what’s left of my salary on my commute, either.

I mean, wfh isn’t perfect – and the lines between work and home have very much bled together re getting emails at stupid times in the evening and never knowing if you can switch off – but I wish I could take advantage of it longer. I expect it will still be frowned upon for trainees and NQs to be working from home even one or two days a week since we’re expected to “prove ourselves”. I also don’t want to be the sole reason my supervisor forces themselves on a sweaty hour-long commute every morning.

It’s kind of a no-win situation for us, especially in this market.

Joe

Is this a MC or US firm?

Anonymous

Thoughts on Osborne Clarke? About to do a final interview there after the VS

City Trainee

If she’s picked the right firm for her to train at, this will be a non-issue once she starts. It was a difficult couple of weeks adjusting to the WFH routine back in March, but once everyone settled into it I have had excellent supervision and training – easily as much as I got in the office. My supervisor has put in tremendous effort to speak to me constantly and tell me about all different bits of work he is doing even when there is no role for me to play on them, just so I can get a better idea of what is going on. If anything I’ve also found more people are reaching out and checking on me to make sure I am okay and well connected in a way that they never would have done in the office. Remote working has been tough for a few reasons but lack of adequate training / supervision has simply not been one of them. Guess it always depends I the supervisor though.

Paralegals_should_be_trainees

I am glad this has happened so law firms see the value in paralegals becoming trainees, not some random graduates who just got an Distinction in their LPC, but have no idea how to even draft a service letter.

wfhtrainee

Who the hell cares what someone who hasn’t even started their TC thinks? How could she even know what she will be missing or not missing? This strikes me as yet another over eager law student who thinks she’ll be following partners into board meetings to close some hard deals or whatever the hell it is they think we do.

Personally I have found that WFH has forced my firm to improve on their training. Before, trainees did mainly dogsbody paralegal work – photocopying, delivering stuff to other offices – it was a source of constant frustration to me. Now, the work we get is more often actual legal work. They have also put in place better workstream management and mentoring that I could only have dreamed of pre covid, because now they have suddenly realised they can’t just abandon us to our own devices and expect work to be divided out fairly.

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